Beginning in fall 2014, muskrat and mink trapping seasons in Wisconsin will have consistent open and close dates state-wide, with one notable exception. The Mississippi River zone will retain opening dates used in previous years.
"This new season structure reduces confusion over multiple zones and different season dates and strikes a reasonable compromise for muskrat and mink trappers," said John Olson, DNR furbearer ecologist. "It will provide consistency and make things much simpler for harvesters."
In developing the rule, muskrat trappers relayed that the previous, staggered opening dates allowed some people to take advantage of multiple season openers by travelling to other zones. Fur quality improves during the fall season as winter approaches, so the timing of the season opener is very important.
Through public hearings and coordination with interest and advisory groups, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has selected the following open and close dates for the upcoming muskrat and mink trapping seasons:
Opening day (excluding Mississippi River zone): Oct. 25.
Mississippi River zone opening day: second Monday in November or the day after the 2014 duck season (whichever occurs first).
All seasons will close on Sunday, March 8.
In future years, seasons will open on the Saturday nearest Oct. 25 and close the Sunday nearest Mar. 7.
For more information on muskrat and mink trapping in Wisconsin, please visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "trap."